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Admissions Process

If you are a high school or transfer student, you can apply to the California State University through Cal State Apply​.

To apply to the CSU, you should:

  1. Select a CSU campus to attend.
  2. Apply for admission during the priority filing period (October 1 - November 30) by filling out the CSU application at Cal State Apply​.
  3. Research how you will pay for college. If you’re seeking an AB 540 / AB 2000 exemption you will follow the same admission process as any other student. If you’re granted an AB 540 exemption, you will be charged in-state tuition and fees.

Things to Consider when Filling Out Your Application to the CSU

  1. Social Security number. The application will ask you to enter your Social Security number (SSN). If you have qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and have been issued a SSN, enter that number on your application.
    • If you do not have a SSN, you can leave that item blank on the application and the campus you are applying to will assign you a temporary number.
    • If you obtain your SSN after submitting your application, please update the campus you will be attending by the time you enroll.
  2. Residency. Answer all questions about residency (where you live) according to your own residency. If you meet AB540/ AB 2000 guidelines and are being charged non-resident tuition, contact your campus and submit a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form, also known as an AB 540 / AB 2000 affidavit.
  3. Once the student has been accepted to a CSU campus, the student should file an AB 540 / AB 2000 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption​ “Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Affidavit (i.e. AB540/2000 affidavit) with the school. The affidavit requires that students without legal immigration status state they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immigration status as soon as they are eligible to do so.
    You will need to submit a separate affidavit to each college you are applying to, but you do not need to submit a new affidavit when you are continuously enrolled at the same college.

    For campus-specific information, visit AB 540 / AB 2000 Resources for Students.

    The law requires that the information you share on the affidavit be kept confidential.  (See California Education Code §68130.5(d): "Student information obtained in the implementation of this section is confidential.") Student information is also protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If You Still Have Questions

Contact the Office of Admissions and Records at the CSU campus where you are enrolled, or where you intend to enroll, for instructions on submission of your college application or California Nonresident Tuition form (including deadline) and any additional requirements a campus may have for admission.​

About AB540, AB 2000 and the California Dream Act

The following Assembly Bills allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition at the California State University campuses:

  • Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540), passed in 2001, grants students meeting certain criteria an exemption from paying resident tuition at the CSU.
  • Assembly Bill 2000 (AB 2000), passed in 2014. This is an expansion of AB540. It increases the scope of student eligibility for students who graduated early from a California High School with the equivalent of three or more years of credits. If a student graduates early, they must have attended CA elementary or secondary schools for a cumulative total of 3 or more years. It allows students meeting the criteria below to pay in-state tuition, the same as resident students.
  • The California Dream Act (Assembly Bills 130 and 131) was signed into law in 2011. These two bills together compose the California Dream Act and gave AB 540 / AB 2000 students the right to apply for state financial aid, which includes Cal Grant A & B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, institutional grants and community college fee waivers.

Eligibility for AB 540/2000 Status

To be eligible for AB 540, students must meet all the following criteria:

  1. The student must have:
    • attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, or
    • attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years, and
  2. The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) and
  3. The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.

Other Non-resident Tuition Exemptions: T and U Visa Holders

Students who are not immigrants and who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status under Title 8 of the United States Code sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption as well.  The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above.  Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.

Who Is Not Eligible

If you are an undocumented student, but you are not eligible for an AB 540 / AB 2000 nonresident tuition exemption and do not meet a non-resident exemption, you will be ineligible for all federal, state and institutional aid.

Your financial aid options to pay for college include securing a private loan and scholarships.

Students who are non-immigrants (other than those with T or U visa status, as noted above)—for example, those who hold F (student) visas and B (visitor) visas—are not eligible for AB 540 / AB 2000 non-resident exemption for tuition.

DACA approved students are not able to apply for federal financial aid (FAFSA) and may not receive services of federally-funded university programs. Some DACA approved students may be eligible to apply for California state aid if they qualify for the AB 540 / AB 2000 nonresident tuition exemption. ​